We’ve just about hit that time of the year in the UK when it gets darker earlier and earlier, the weather has begun to turn and the water is that little bit colder – Winter Is Coming. It’s a great time to start to look at your cold weather paddling gear and assess whether it is going to be up to the job.
Being cold is not just uncomfortable it can also be life threatening. Having the right gear for the right conditions is key at any time of the year but the margin for error during the colder seasons is much tighter.
Arcteryx is a Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Now I must admit I love Arcteryx as I find the fit to be perfect for my build. Read on to find out what I think about the Arcteryx Atom LT Jacket.
I own fair bit if Arcteryx kit and actually wish I owned more. However the bank balance won’t allow it. Out of all of the kit I own the Arcteryx Atom LT jacket and Arcteryx Atom LT hoodie get the most use. Construction, materials and fit are identical with the hood being the only difference between the two. Within the Atom LT range is also the sleeveless waistcoat version.
In total I have probably owned at least one of these for around two years. However the jacket is my main goto insulated jacket. I will often go for this over a fleece, including windstopper versions I own.
Staying both warm and dry makes any kayaking adventure that much more pleasant. I’ve been kayaking for over 25 years now and am amazed how much the kit has moved on during that time. Way back then getting soaked to the bone was pretty much a standard feature of paddling even if you didn’t swim. Even though staying dry is much easier and therefore makes keeping warm itself so much easier it’s important to get your insulation layers right.
I tend not to feel the cold as most folk but I still pick my insulation layers really carefully to make sure that I not only stay nice and warm but that I do not over heat. I personally find overheating way worse than being too cold.
No matter what time of year I use a hammock I have always found that I lose a lot of heat from the underside of the hammock. Any insulation that lies between your body and hammock gets compressed and therefore becomes compromised.
Normal camping convention is to use a barrier between you and the floor to prevent heat being conducted away. This usually entails using a pad such as a Thermarest or a foam roll mat. Neither of these are a great option for in a hammock. I have always found that during the night the pad moves and you end up with a cold back.
The solution is to suspend your insulation under the hammock so it does not get compressed. Such systems are given the term under quilt.